Soccer Scores: Top 10 Futbol Loving States in America

Written By Walter Yuhl on May 21, 2024
Soccer Field Ticker Tape Text Which State Has Futbol Fever

Soccer, known outside the U.S. as football or futbol, is hailed as the world’s game or the Beautiful Game. It is starting to gain a foothold with U.S. fans. We wanted to know which states show the most love for futbol.

We evaluated key indicators of interest in the game, including professional teams, Google search trends, Division I involvement, and stadium infrastructure, to identify which states are embracing the Beautiful Game.

Massachusetts leads the pack for soccer enthusiasm, while Wyoming lags in its fandom.

Key takeaways

  • Massachusetts and New Jersey topped the list with the highest percentage of Division I soccer teams and soccer-related Google searches.
  • Wyoming is the least soccer-friendly state. It was at the bottom of all four categories we used to rank the states.
  • Soccer is growing in the U.S. in general. More Americans are playing and watching the game than ever before.

Top 10 states for soccer

We evaluated the states in four categories: the states with the most professional soccer teams, the highest scores on five soccer-related searches on Google Trends, the highest ratio of Division I soccer teams to Division I schools, and soccer stadium seats per capita.

The data shows that the top ten states for soccer in the U.S. are:

  1. Massachusetts
  2. New Jersey
  3. Missouri
  4. Ohio
  5. Maryland

Massachusetts emerged as the No. 1 soccer state due to its top ranking in Google Trends and second place in the highest percentage of Division I soccer teams. Massachusetts was the only state to score high in public interest and facilities.

New Jersey hit the No. 2 spot because of its college involvement and search data on Google Trends.

Missouri taking the third spot on the list may surprise some. The Show Me State did not stand out in any single category but was in the top 15 of each.

Ohio, in fourth place, would have been at the top if not for its lack of Division I soccer teams, which caused it to fall in the bottom half of all states.

Maryland rounds out the top five. It did well in Google Trends and stadium seats, but the number of professional and college teams was low.

Completing the top 10 are:

  1. Connecticut
  2. Pennsylvania
  3. Utah
  4. California
  5. Nevada

Perhaps because soccer is still relatively new as a major sport in the U.S., the data did not show a clear pattern.

Arkansas and Iowa are tied with the most professional teams per capita. Massachusetts and Utah are on top for the most Google Trends. Minnesota and Massachusetts had the highest percentage of Division I soccer teams. Hawaii and Louisiana have the most soccer stadium seats per capita.

Of the 40 spots in the top ten for the four categories, only seven states appeared more than once, six twice, and one three times.

Location is a standout. Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio, Maryland, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania are all in the Northeast. Population density is also a correlation. Seven of the ten soccer-loving states were among the eleven most densely populated states.

5 states that like soccer the least

Identifying the states least enthusiastic about soccer is a clearer picture. Wyoming, for example, came in last place in every category. The other states had similar low scores across the board.

The top five least soccer-loving states:

  1. Wyoming
  2. Alaska
  3. Montana
  4. North Dakota
  5. South Dakota

Population density was the defining factor in the five least-loving soccer states. The five least densely populated states are in order: Alaska, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

Cold weather may also be a factor driving a lackluster love for soccer. Four of the five coldest states in the U.S. made our top five list of states slow to embrace soccer.

Soccer interest and development

Only three states with the highest Google Trends scores were in the top ten soccer-loving states. This may reflect the lag between the growing interest in soccer and the development of facilities and teams.

Top 5 Google Trends searches:

  1. Massachusetts
  2. Utah
  3. New Jersey
  4. Nevada
  5. Maryland

Soccer is growing in the U.S.

While the states vary greatly in their interest in soccer, the sport is growing in the U.S. The number of participants in outdoor soccer in the United States has increased annually from 11.4 million in 2018 to 14.07 million in 2023.

More fans attend Major League Soccer games in the U.S. than NHL and NBA games.

Opportunities to discover a love for soccer

You can watch the upcoming Euro 2024 on FOX Sports and Fubo in English and TelevisaUnivision in Spanish. Games will be broadcast on FOX, FS1, FS2, Univision, TUDN, and UniMás. You can also watch on the FOX Sports App and FoxSports.com.

The full tournament will be broadcast on the FOX networks from June 14 through July 14, 2024.

Euro 2024 schedule:

  • Group stage: June 14 to June 26
  • Round of 16: June 29 to July 2
  • Quarterfinals: July 5 and 6
  • Semifinals: July 9 and 10
  • Final: July 14

Methodology

We used four fact-based variables that provided a quantitative measure of each state’s interest in soccer:

  • Professional soccer leagues
  • Google Trends
  • Division I soccer teams
  • Soccer stadium seats

Professional soccer teams

We evaluated seven professional U.S. soccer leagues:

  • Major League Soccer (MLS)
  • Major League Soccer Next Pro (MLS Next Pro)
  • National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL)
  • United Soccer League Championship (USLC)
  • United Soccer League One (USL1)
  • United Socer League Two (USL2)
  • National Independent Soccer Association (NISA)

We calculated the number of professional soccer teams in each state in proportion to the state’s population. The number of people per professional team was scaled to compare to the other categories.

Google Trends

We looked at five search terms on Google Trends for the past 12 months:

  • Soccer
  • Soccer Leagues
  • Youth Soccer
  • Major League Soccer Season
  • Soccer Scores

The scores from these five Google Trends searches were averaged and scaled to compare to the other categories.

Division I soccer teams

We calculated the percentage of Division I soccer teams in each state to the number of Division I schools in each state. The percentages were scaled to compare to the other categories.

Soccer stadium seats per capita

We tabulated the number of soccer stadium seats in each state and calculated the number of seats per capita, which we scaled to compare to the other categories.

Each category was weighted equally.

Sources

Fox Sports

Business Insider

NCSA

SoccerWire

Statista

The Soccer Crusader

Britannica

Wikipedia

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Complete US Soccer Loving Rankings

StateRankingTotal Number of TeamsAverage Google Trends Score% of D1 Schools With D1 SoccerNumber of Soccer StadiumsNumber of Seats
Massachusetts1482.01506130,950
New Jersey2774.81007203,082
Missouri3362.8806163,562
Ohio4562.25410299,595
Maryland5471.4565174,508
Connecticut6270.686452,500
Pennsylvania7655.21008244,645
Utah8479.850376,452
California92665.09233598,126
Nevada10274.050348,340
Nebraska11166.567215,023
Minnesota12650.2200433,300
Rhode Island13170.810018,000
Texas141258.01925549,944
Indiana15350.8608118,992
Iowa16151.025335,757
Louisiana17237.03310173,145
Illinois18861.8858113,300
New York191257.09120193,680
West Virginia20147.5100424,320
Kansas21359.0100344,650
Arizona22456.8337152,833
Virginia23760.2100869,927
Florida241959.06916324,536
North Carolina251155.87822187,440
Georgia26854.8575178,796
Kentucky27348.057486,131
Wisconson28349.875214,000
Vermont29265.510015,000
Colorado30760.6406113,305
Michigan31952.0716144,301
Washington32756.0606101,500
New Hampshire33151.810000
Tennessee34856.2338150,448
Arkansas35139.32000
New Mexico36352.00364,143
Hawaii37039.80377,500
South Carolina38546.075960,500
Oklahoma39240.550531,833
Oregon40656.250440,210
Alabama41444.011383,594
Delaware42060.55000
Mississippi43241.0000
Idaho44046.8014,001
Maine45044.5015,200
South Dakota46041.0013,000
North Dakota47038.3014,500
Montana48040.8000
Alaska49033.7014,500
Wyoming50029.7000
Photo by Shutterstock / PlayNJ
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Walter Yuhl

Walter (Way) Yuhl is a freelance writer and business professor. Way has written for the Arizona Daily Sun, Flagstaff Business News, Bangkok University, and Shandong University of Science and Technology as well as edited content for the U.N., Thailand International airports, and other organizations. He has worked with Catena Media since 2019.

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